Museum of the Portuguese Language
Firemen try to put out the fire at the Museu da Lingua Portuguesa (Portuguese Language Museum) in Sao Paulo Getty

A major fire broke out at the Museum of the Portuguese Language in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 21 December. One firefighter was killed in the incident, the museum has confirmed.

"We are deeply shaken with the fire that hit the museum of the Portuguese language on the afternoon of this Monday (21/12/2015) and we regret, above all, the death of the civil fireman Ronaldo Pereira Da Cruz," a statement by the museum said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated. The museum, which is located in a century-old building, houses historic texts about the evolution of the Portuguese language. Officials said that the loss of ancient documents may be minimised as there are backups of many texts.

"The Museum of the Portuguese Language can be fully rebuilt from our backups and files," they said. "The Museum, as well as our language, will remain alive and dynamic. While the building is being rebuilt, we will find other ways to give continuity to the cultural activities."

The temporary exhibition area on the first floor of the building that caught fire had only replica objects on display at an ongoing exhibition, officials said and confirmed that there has been no damage to antiques either.